Not really a poem this but a personal challenge undertaken since becoming a bus driver around the lanes of West Cornwall.
Inspired by the apocryphal Bus Drivers Prayer, which supplants London Transport bus destinations into the original Lord’s Prayer, that Jesus taught his disciples as part of the Sermon on the Mount.
The late, great Ian Dury (whose father was a bus driver) recorded it on two of his albums (Apples in 1989 and The Bus Driver’s Prayer and Other Stories in 1992). I like the idea that no-one knows who wrote it…I can imagine bus drivers sat in their canteen chipping in with suggestions for it. It’s a very organic poem. This is the original…or is it?
Our Father, who art in Hendon;
Harrow Road be Thy name.
Thy Kingston come.
Thy Wimbledon, in Erith as it is in Hendon.
Give us this day our Berkhampstead,
And forgive us our Westminsters;
As we forgive those who Westminster against us.
Lead us not into Temple Station;
And deliver us from Ealing.
For thine is the Kingston,
The Purley and the Crawley;
For Iver and Iver,
My own version, The West Cornish Bus Driver’s Prayer is also organic for the same reason that I keep finding better fits for it. I have altered this quite a few times as ‘something better’ always comes along…a bit like buses.
THE WEST CORNISH BUS DRIVER’S PRAYER
Hands together eyes closed everybody. Let us Praa (Sands)
Our Falmouth, who art in Helston,
Hea Road is thy name.
Thy Camborne come; Trythall be done;
In St Erth as it in St Levan.
Give us St Day our daily Breage,
And forgive us our Malpasses
As we forgive those that Malpas against us;
And lead us not into Trengwainton
But deliver us from Geevor.
For thine is the King’s Arms, (Penryn)
For Devoran ever,
© gray lightfoot
Hear Gray read The West Cornish Bus Driver’s Prayer here…
Coming in after one minute is Ian Dury’s Bus Driver’s Prayer